Wednesday, Jul 17, 2019
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Man reportedly swept out to sea identified

Police have identified the man they believe was swept out to sea on Abaco last week as 45-year-old Mark Mercer of Savannah, Georgia.

Mercer is described as standing at 6’6’’, with blue eyes, brown hair and a slim build.

He was last seen at the southern point of Winding Bay, South Abaco on Monday wearing long blue jeans, a blue base ball cap and a light blue, short sleeve Gulf Stream Airlines shirt.

Mercer, who is believed to be a Caucasian, was reportedly taking photographs in a restricted area along the cliffside at around 6:05 p.m. when he was hit by a large wave that caused him to fall approximately 40 feet into the surf below, according to the police.

Lieutenant Commander Brian Betz, Untied States Coast Guard liaison officer to The Bahamas, indicated last Tuesday that the area of the surf the man fell into has large rocks and a reef.

“We were given a request by the Bahamas Air Sea Rescue Association, and the Bahamas police and defence forces on Monday night,” Betz said last week.

“We brought over a Coast Guard helicopter from Florida and a six wing aircraft as well.  They searched starting at about midnight.”

The Coast Guard reported that eight searches were conducted for more than five hours over 64 square miles.

According to police, two male employees of the cay attempted to rescue the man but were unsuccessful due to the strong current.  In their rescue attempt they sustained some injuries but were treated and discharged from the local clinic.

Betz said last week that based on the circumstances surrounding the incident, the chances of finding the man alive were diminishing.

“Unfortunately, the missing gentleman did not have on a life jacket,” he said.

“…The ability to pick out an individual from in the surf would be more challenging for us.”

At the time Betz said the Coast Guard was not sure how long the search would continue.

 

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